The following article was written by Dr. Ric Eusebio in the opinion page of the Pacific Daily News (the bold is mine):
The recent media headlines reporting allegations of sexual impropriety involving Rev. Justin Wachs in the diocese of Sioux Falls, South Dakota, is recycled news from a news report from June. As reported, Wachs served as a notary for the Vatican tribunal investigating sex abuse charges against Archbishop Anthony Apuron.However, he is not one of the five judges tasked with examining evidence, evaluating and determining the validity of the evidence and finally rendering judgment. He has no say or influence in the case’s outcome.Nevertheless, all the media appear to deem this newsworthy enough to publish as the expected conclusion of the trial draws near. Yet it aligns with the schema of those who stand to gain from Apuron’s permanent ouster from the island.Why? By discrediting the Vatican tribunal — which has conducted the most thorough investigation into the claims against Apuron to date — those accusing the Church have more leeway to negotiate via mediation a growing number of unproven sex abuse claims. They have steered the public, via the media, to question his innocence and deemed him guilty before, during and now, near the conclusion of his trial, by discrediting the legal process.This delayed and deliberate smearing of Wachs is more of the same of what we’ve come to expect from those campaigning for the premature removal and defrocking of Apuron.Indeed, an article quoted Attorney David Lujan as wondering: “How can one trust anything this man writes, if he is lacking in virtue and character?" Already Lujan is hoping to cast doubt on the tribunal.One of the most difficult conundrums for the naysayers is: What if he is innocent? Then it is understandable to openly question the legal process to invalidate the result and lead one to think that he is guilty anyway.In this regard, it is alarming to hear the recent news of criminal conspiracy charges, violations of the Open Government Law and official misconduct by six members of the Guam Housing Board. At the center of the criminal charges is David Sablan, the president of Concerned Catholics of Guam, the group that has spearheaded the campaign against Archbishop Apuron and the archdiocese.It is remarkable that someone who has accused the church of financial and administrative misconduct is now under investigation for, among other things, steering $4.1 million in tax credits to a favored company behind closed doors.Concerned Catholics of Guam has demanded without any proven evidence of misconduct that Apuron be defrocked, without due process, hoping to deny him the right to a fair trial. What is the hurry? Are not the accused presumed innocent until proven guilty?Over the last year, we have watched in pain as acrimony and tension, primarily over money and power … have divided the Church that has nurtured our faith here in Guam. But frequently the truth is present in our midst, staring at us in the face. We simply have been blinded by those who stand to gain in discoloring or shading the truth.We need to strive more clearly to see the light of truth and open ourselves to receive the grace God gives us to accept it.R.B. Eusebio, M.D., FACS, is president of I Familian Mangatoliku Sihab.